Simply from Scratch/Alicia Bessette: Reflections

Monday, June 21, 2010

It was raining the day I took this photograph—raining, and yet the sun was dialed in full blast behind the tears.  That's exactly the way I felt while reading Alicia Bessette's debut novel Simply from Scratch, due out in August from Dutton.  For this is a story about losses, but it is also (very much) a story about gains.  Zell has lost her husband to a terrible accident.  Into the house next has moved a little girl, Ingrid, who never has known her mother.  A quest to win the Desserts that Warm the Soul baking contest—$20,000 and an appearance on the Polly Pinch show to the winning entry—brings these two lovable characters together, and, in the process, awakens a new generation of hope for Zell, Ingrid, and the many others who complicate, in the best possible way, this story of renewal and possibility.

Bessette, who is married to the novelist Matthew Quick, shares with him a love for dogs, a faith in community, and a passion for intergenerational tales, not to mention a terrific ear for dialogue and an enviable knack for moving a story of many pieces seamlessly forward.  Momentum builds, and it builds rightly, leaving plenty of room for the tenderness that binds these knowable souls together. 

Simply from Scratch will, I'm certain, win over many readerly hearts when it launches (so why not pre-order?).  We believe in the characters that Bessette has fashioned.  We root for them, old-friends-style.


Amy said...

Sounds great!

evanjamesroskos said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
evanjamesroskos said...

excellent comment: "[an] enviable knack for moving a story of many pieces seamlessly forward" -- i agree that this is not something writers often do well and look forward to reading Alicia's book for this and many reasons. I love the names and the concept. I've already pre-ordered my copy.


Solvang Sherrie said...

Beautiful photo. And it sounds like a great story as well.

Becca said...

Oh I love these kinds of stories :)

septembermom said...

Sounds intriguing. I'll add it to my list. Great photograph Beth.

The1stdaughter said...

I really would love to read this book, it just sounds so perfect.

Your photo is just beautiful by the way. Gorgeous!

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